- Mario Ng
Hotel Review: PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore (COLLECTION Signature Suite)
I have always wanted to book a stay at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore. A large hotel situated within Singapore’s Central Business District, it can be argued that this caters to both business travellers and sightseeing visitors. One of its key highlights is also how seriously the hotel takes its eco-conscious obligations. Finally, I decided to push the button and book a night at this lovely hotel.
Instagram-friendly swimming pool
Great views of the city
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In general, staff members at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore were professional. I enjoyed the service provided by the COLLECTION club lounge staff members, who appeared genuine and tried their best to attend to guests’ needs. During the afternoon tea service at the lounge, I could see only 2 staff members attending to guests and they were both eager to please. One could sense their professionalism in trying to meet the guests’ needs.
I arrived at the hotel around 2 pm, where a staff member checked me in. The process was quite straightforward and I was soon given my keycards. I was told that my check-out time would be noon the next day but did not mention that I could request a late check-out time of 2 pm (subject to availability) on account of my COLLECTION club privileges. She then mentioned that my stay did not come with complimentary breakfast, and asked if I wanted to add that to my stay. I also noticed that I was not briefed on any of the COLLECTION club privileges during the check-in process.
As she started explaining the price for breakfast, I started to wonder if I had booked the wrong room or the wrong rate. I asked the staff member if my room came with lounge benefits. To my relief, she did a quick check and confirmed that it came with lounge benefits. I then clarified if I could then have breakfast at the lounge, and she thankfully responded positively.
I noticed afterwards that I was not briefed completely on the privileges, which included a 20% discount on ala-carte items at the hotel’s main restaurant, Lime. Having said that, the hotel was at that time running a 20% discount promotion at Lime for all guests anyway. Hence, no harm no foul. On a side note, I became aware of a 25% discount promotion for hotel guests at St. Gregory Spa between Mondays and Thursdays from 11 am to 4 pm, which was also not mentioned to me during check-in.
I feel that if staff members are briefed on the various promotions that are offered by the hotel, they could highlight such offers to guests during check-in. I have tried a back and shoulder massage before at St. Gregory spa at this hotel, and I loved it. Hence, I would have been more than happy to be informed of such a great promotion during check-in, and I would have made a booking for another massage during my stay.
I thought in general that the staff members at the check-in counters appeared a little distant. I am sure I am nitpicking at this point but I thought there was quite a contrast between the service I received at the club lounge and the check-in counters. While the staff members at the check-in counters provided you with factual information and replied to your requests either positively or negatively, I could sense the sincerity of the club lounge staff members, who seemed eager to please, and were proactive to help you when you needed it.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore has a world-famous, Instagram-friendly swimming pool, allowing guests to snap cool pictures while swimming (or at least pretending to) and looking towards the Marina Bay area. The pool is open daily between 6 am and 8 pm, which I think is a little too early to be closed if you ask me. I made sure to go for a swim first thing in the morning and I loved how beautiful the view was that morning. Seriously, after a couple of laps in the pool, I stopped just to admire the view while attempting to control my breathing due to exhaustion. The WFH regime seriously affected my stamina.
After making sure to swim 10 entire laps, I was more than ready for breakfast. I quickly made a detour to the gym, located on the same floor, just to see what it looks like. Open between 6 am and 8 pm daily, it has the same opening hours as the swimming pool. Not that this is a concern to me. I contemplated bringing my running shoes because I thought I might want to do a quick workout in the morning. Thankfully, I decided not to add the extra weight to my bag. I did not manage to snap any pictures of the gym because a couple was exercising that morning. Also, it is a gym. It is no Virgin Active, but you have the standard treadmills and weights. Business travellers will be able to get a relatively satisfactory workout in this gym. That the treadmills face the pool and Marina Bay area makes the gym a great place to work out with a view.
St. Gregory Spa is located just beside the gym, at the end of the swimming pool. Open between 10.30 am and 8 pm, you are encouraged to make a booking before heading over. When I used to work in the vicinity, I once made a booking for a head and shoulder massage, due to the high levels of stress that I faced daily as an office worker. The massage was relaxing and I thoroughly enjoyed the session. If not for the time constraints that I faced during this stay, I would have made another booking for a massage session. Be sure to make a booking for a massage session when you stay at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore!
COLLECTION Club Lounge:
The club lounge is located on the building’s rooftop, so to speak. Situated on the 16th floor, it faces Raffles Place and offers one a fantastic view of Parliament House, Victoria Concert Hall, and beyond.
The lounge felt spacious. Perhaps due to its high ceiling, the floor-to-ceiling windows also allowed a lot of natural light into the lounge. The fact that the seats are widely spaced out also helped matters. When I was there during the afternoon, there were only 2 other groups of guests. Hence, the service was relatively quick.
The afternoon tea service came in the form of a traditional afternoon tea stand. The content was a little more localised. The staff member came over to my seat, apologised for the time taken to serve me (which was really only a few minutes), and earnestly went through each item that was on the stand. Service, as I mentioned earlier, was warm and friendly. The food was good, and I thought it was just sufficient for an afternoon tea service. I do not usually like to eat too much as I am used to having meals at structured timings. Also, I wanted to enjoy the evening service afterwards. Hence, I made sure to save enough space in my tummy for more food later.
I wandered around the 16th floor after completing my meal and found out, to my surprise, that there is an outdoor observation deck of sorts beside the lounge. There are lounge seats available as well, although it might make more sense to chill out in this area during evenings when the sun is about to head to bed. That the deck faces Raffles Place makes the view even better!
Evening service was significantly more crowded, with many tables filled up with couples and at least a group of business travellers. This is definitely a joy to see at local hotels. It was still relatively easy to grab a seat, as I managed to grab a window-side table when I arrived.
As a staff member guide you to an available seat, he or she will then proceed to show you a drinks menu, where you can order a variety of alcoholic drinks based on the menu. While there are wines or brands of alcohol that you can only select from the menu, you can actually order cocktails not on the menu as well. I grabbed myself a Gin & Tonic while I overheard my neighbours getting themselves some Singapore Sling.
Food-wise, you would then proceed to the counters and simply inform the staff members what you would like. This is as close as it gets to a pre-COVID experience, where the only visible difference is staff members helping you with the food, in lieu of a truly self-service buffet experience. The variety offered here is not a lot, with a few types of cheeses, a small salad bar, three types of snacks (spring roll, Thai fish cake, and a mini quiche), fresh fruits, and two types of mini cakes. For sure, it cannot replace dinner service, although you can have as many servings as you wish. I had a go at everything except for the salad and some of the crackers offered, while I went for seconds specifically on the Thai fish cake and spring roll. Overall, the evening service was adequate although not spectacular.
Since I had access to the club lounge, I decided to grab breakfast at the COLLECTION Club Lounge the next morning. It turned out to be a wise choice as I noticed how crowded the main restaurant was as I went for a morning walk around the hotel after my breakfast.
The lounge was lively, with quite a few groups of travellers already enjoying breakfast. However, it was not noisy per se as I could see mainly business travellers and more mature tourists who were just having a relaxing breakfast. I could also see at least one guest having a Zoom meeting with his colleagues. Business travel looks to be back for good!
As is usually the case, food options at the lounge are more limited, compared to what is usually served at the hotel’s main restaurant. Nevertheless, I am quite easily satisfied as long as I get my eggs, pastries, and sausages. Or, an English breakfast. Thankfully, the lounge had all of these. Three types of pastries were available, of which I went for the chocolate croissant and plain croissant. Add a strawberry jam and that became perfect. The cold cuts were pretty good, and I loved the smoked salmon. Next up, I requested a sunny side up while also adding some tater tots, sausages, and baked beans. I liked that the baked beans were heated up, which made my dining experience that much more enjoyable. I resisted the temptation to get some bacon, all in the name of trying to live more healthily.
I understand that the lounge also served nasi lemak for guests preferring a more local breakfast but I did not fancy it that morning. I also understand that they had siew mai and lotus baos that morning, neither of which I particularly wanted.
Overall, I enjoyed breakfast that morning in the relative calmness of the rooftop lounge. I think this is particularly important for me as I like having the first meal of the day in peace while preparing for the day’s adventures. It just does not seem as enjoyable or relaxing hanging out with many other guests in the main restaurant. I guess this is one privilege that lounge access offers guests, one that I feel very blessed to have while staying in hotels.
I stayed a night at the COLLECTION Signature Suite, with my room located on the 14th floor, overlooking the Marina Bay area. Because my room is at the corner of the hotel, I was also able to look across towards Clarke Quay and beyond. The views look really great from this room.
COLLECTION Signature suites have a floor area of 73 square metres, and you can see and feel the spaciousness when you step into the room. It has a separate living room and bedroom, with a corridor dividing the bathroom and the rest of the rooms. The bathroom is also huge, with a standing shower and bathtub beside it.
The living room has a sofa that can easily seat three adults, while a comfortable lounge chair provides space for one more person. Samsung seems to be the hotel’s electronic brand of choice, where a Samsung television, soundbar, and subwoofer greet you in the living room. Having said that, I did not enjoy the sound quality when I caught a movie that night. Perhaps it is just me. Unfortunately, the television does not come with access to Netflix or YouTube. Hence, you will either need to connect your laptop with an HDMI cable or rely on the television channels offered by the hotel. As I am using an iPhone, I could not connect to the television using screen mirroring, and I noticed that it does not have Chromecast built-in too.
The workstation is situated beside the television, which should be perfect if you want to do some work while catching the news or some programme. However, you will not be able to shift the television as the tv mount is fixed. Hence, you will need to watch the show in an awkward manner. Or, concentrate on your work.
Caffeine options come in the form of 4 Nespresso capsules and 12 TWG teabags. Of course, I could not finish all of them and took the rest home to enjoy. I have to say that this is one perk I love about staying in suites, as they usually have more teabags placed in the room for guests to enjoy. The minibar is unfortunately not complimentary, even for suites guests, but there is no matter. The items have been removed, probably due to COVID-19, and have not been replaced yet. However, this should not be an issue since you could always head up to the lounge for a refreshing beverage of your choice.
The suite also provides you with 4 bottled water, while a tap for filtered water is located in the bathroom. This is part of the hotel’s initiative to be eco-conscious. The bottled water was really smooth, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew this cannot be some standard bottled or filtered water as the taste was just too smooth and good to simply be bottled water. Indeed, I found out that their bottled water is provided by LovEarth, which specialises in Nano-Artisan water. I checked out their website and found out that they offer solutions for residences as well. I am definitely considering this seriously for my future home. If you wish to, check out their website here!
The bedroom is located at the corner of the hotel, so this means you get some of the best views the hotel offers. From my bedroom, I got to see views of Clarke Quay and the Marina Bay area. Because there are no high-rise buildings in front of the hotel, you get some amazing views of the city. If the weather cooperates, you will also see blue skies with lovely clouds above skyscrapers. I found myself snapping numerous pictures of the scenery throughout the day. The bed itself faces the office building beside the hotel, so you will not get a nice view. Thankfully, you have a television in front of the bed to distract you.
There is a dressing table located just outside the bedroom, which is not something I see often in hotels. Perhaps it is due to the spaciousness of the suite that the hotel can afford to have a separate dressing table. I am sure guests appreciate having one, as opposed to using the bathroom mirror.
The bathroom is huge and comes with a double sink bathroom vanity. Probably due to the floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the room, the bathroom appears bright and spacious, with lots of natural light entering. I liked this aspect as not many hotels can provide such natural lighting in the bathroom. Most hotel bathrooms I come across are quite dark, with only artificial lighting to bring some light into the enclosed area. There was no such issue with this suite.
There is a separate standing shower and bathtub, so you could shower while your partner soaks in the bathtub. It is so spacious that there is actually no issue with two people showering at once, such is the amount of space afforded in the bathroom.
Toiletries are provided by Appelles, a renowned Australian brand. I have come across this brand in some hotels and enjoy using their products. As PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore emphasises being eco-friendly, their toiletries are also stored in large bottles. This means that guests no longer need to rely on small bottles and request more if they run out of shampoo. I prefer this approach to be honest, as it is highly unlikely I will run out of shampoo or shower gel, and I will not need to call up the concierge just to get one more bottle of shampoo. The bonus is that this allows me to be eco-friendly, and I think this lack of effort required on the guest’s end makes it a win-win situation.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore. I enjoyed my time working in my room, while I also loved the time spent at the COLLECTION club lounge. I went to the lounge three times during my stay and especially appreciated the service provided by staff members each time.
I also enjoyed the swimming pool and the vast greenery offered by the hotel. After an early morning swim, the best thing that can happen would be to enjoy a great view while breathing in the really fresh air.
I am not sure why, but I feel that the staff members at the check-in counters could have been a little warmer to guests. They were completely professional, in case you are wondering, but I thought they could have been a little friendlier or more engaging. I am sure guests, especially leisure travellers, will appreciate a warm welcome as they step into the hotel for the first time.
All in all, a decent experience staying in this lovely hotel!
Click here to find out more about PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore and book a stay today!
Cost of COLLECTION Signature Suite: S$567.78 a night - stayed during a weekday in March 2022
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